What are warning signs of suicide?

Learn the following warning signs of suicide:

  • Making statements about hopelessness, helplessness, or worthlessness.
  • Talking about suicide. Most people, at some point tell someone they are thinking of killing themselves. Suicide threats should be taken very seriously!
  • Giving away personal items. People who are planning to kill themselves might give away their jewelry or favorite CD collections.
  • Engaging in risky behaviors. When people do dangerous things, such as drinking and driving, they may be saying they do not care if they die or get hurt.
  • Changes in personality. Any big change in a person's behavior or personality is a warning sign. For example, a normally friendly person may want to be alone. Or a quiet, shy person may become angry and aggressive.
  • Increased use of drugs or alcohol. These substances can make people feel more depressed. A person who is drinking or drugging is at risk for suicide.

All of these signs are especially serious if the person is depressed.

  • Call 9-1-1 if you or someone you know is in suicidal danger.
  • Call 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) – National Hope Line Network.
    (Available 24 hours/7 days)
  • Call National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

To learn more:

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is a private organization dedicated to the prevention of suicide and offers support to people affected by suicide. It offers prevention information and provides a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs).

next » What are warning signs of suicide in youth?

Written by: Janice C. May, M.P.A.
Reviewed by: Jeffrey G. Schultze, M.D.
Last Modified: Thursday April 18, 2013 6:12 PM